Manchester City are considering an approach for Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to the Mirror. The report believes the 31-year-old former Barcelona, AC Milan and Inter Milan striker has damaged his relationship with new Paris St Germain (PSG) boss Laurent Blanc, over the Ligue 1 champions' pursuit of Uruguayan Edinson Cavani.
Spanish publication Marca reported last week that the Napoli forward was close to completing a €64m move to the Parc Des Princes club; for a five-year contract worth €10m. The 26-year-old South American has been the focus of considerable transfer speculation this summer, with Europa League champions Chelsea joining City and nine-time European champions Real Madrid on the list of admirers.
Cavani's arrival is believed to have upset Ibrahimovic, who scored 30 goals in 33 Ligue 1 starts in his first season in France. The Swede's goals led the Parisian capital club to the league championship and the quarter-final of the Champions League, where they were eliminated by his former club Barcelona; Ibrahimovic scored three goals and had seven assists in nine European fixtures last year.
The Mirror reports Ibrahimovic has refused to report for pre-season training despite being given an extra 10 days off, and has authorised his agent, Mino Raiola, to open negotiations with Madrid. It is believed the Santiago Bernabeu club has been offered the Swede for €20m and €15m per season.
However, Madrid have rejected the offer, according to Marca. The Spaniards' new manager is former PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti and Marca reports the former AC Milan and Chelsea manager has a "no poaching" agreement with the French outfit.
Moreover, Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain, who was earlier strongly linked to Arsenal, is now likely to remain at the club for this season. Marca, who have close ties to inside sources at the Bernabeu, say the 25-year-old will meet club president Florentino Perez on Monday and is open to talks with Ancelotti over his future in the Spanish capital.
If Higuain does stay, not only will the Gunners lose yet another major transfer target this summer but Madrid's forward line is likely to remain unchanged, with France international Karim Benzema also set to stay.
The Mirror believes Madrid's refusal means City will have a clear path to Ibrahimovic. The Etihad club needs firepower up front, having sold Mario Balotelli to AC Milan in January and Carlos Tevez to Juventus this summer, leaving only Argentina's Sergio Agüero and Bosnia's Edin Dzeko as senior strikers.
New manager Manuel Pellegrini has also been linked with Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo, who is valued at a reported €20.8m. The 27-year-old Spain international has already seen team-mate Jesus Navas move to the former English champions this summer.